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Iran Press TV

Russian opposition leader vows to go ahead with Moscow mayor bid

Iran Press TV

Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:6PM GMT

A day after being released from prison, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has arrived in Moscow, vowing to push ahead with a bid to become the capital's mayor.

On Saturday, Navalny, 37, arrived in Moscow from the northeastern city of Kirov, where he was sentenced to prison.

In Moscow, thousands of supporters greeted the opposition leader.

'We are going to run and we will win,' Navalny said referring to the September 8 mayoral polls, adding, 'Ahead of us is a big, difficult electoral campaign. Seven weeks of non-stop work and it's just the start.'

On Thursday July 18, Navalny was sentenced to five years in prison by a Kirov court for embezzling 16 million rubles (USD 500,000) worth of timber from the Kirovles state timber company and triggering anti-government protests in 2011 and 2012.

However, a day after the sentencing, he was released by a higher court.

The court ruled that if Navalny remained in prison, it would "limit his right to be elected."

Navalny claimed his conviction and sentence 'had been vetted by the presidential administration ... but when people came out on Manezhnaya [square], they rushed to go back on that decision.'

Navalny is known for openly criticizing the government of President Vladimir Putin.

He has been involved in organizing numerous anti-government protest rallies in the country in recent years.


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